eye of newt, wing of bat.....

“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”
MacBeth William Shakespeare

well -

I guess I wouldn’t be a true Kitchen WITCH unless I posted something from “The Witches Book of Cauldron Cooking” (if there is such a book - LOL!!!)

so here goes -

The Traditional Bouquet Garni:

A simple but flavourful “broth posy” consisting of:

* 3 stalks parsley,
* 1 sprig thyme and
* 1 bay leaf

Tie the herbs together in a little bundle with a piece of sting. Add the bouquet garni to any stew, sauce or casserole you’re preparing and remove the bouquet garni before serving. You can use either fresh or dried herbs.

Bouquet Garni

A bouquet garni of herbs and spices is for seasoning stew or soup.The herbs are tied together or into a cheesecloth bag for easy removal.

1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/4 teaspoon crumbled dry bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
5 peppercorns

  1. Crush together the herbs and spices. Pace into a small bag made from several layers of cheesecloth. Tightly tie the bag shut with string.
  2. Add the garni while simmering the ingredients for any soup. Take out before serving and discard.

Makes 1 bouquet garni.

Cook’s Note: In bouquet garni, the amount of any ingredient can be decreased or increased as desired according to personal tastes.

A Mix and Match fresh general use bouquet garni recipe

Liaison herbs: 1 cup parsley and ? cup chives

Mild herbs: 1 cup total ? basil, cilantro (coriander leaves), lemon thyme, marjoram

Robust herbs: ? cup total ? oregano, sage, thyme, winter savory, rosemary, spearmint

Other flavours: ? cup total ? herbal seeds, spices, garlic, onion, citrus peel

  1. Choose as many ingredients as you like from each category. Remove any woody stems.

  2. Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and chop evenly. Add vegetable or olive oil as needed to coat material well, about 2/3 cup; continue chopping until smooth.

  3. Store in small sterlized airtight containers for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Aromatic Garam Masala Recipe

The blending of spices is an integral part of all Indian cooking. Each cook creates his or her own blend, making it fiercely fiery or subtly aromatic.

The selection of herbs and spices range from as little as two or three to over a dozen. This recipe by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz is mild and dominated by the scent of cardamom. It is ideal for meat curries.

20 green cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
4 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp black peppercorns
4 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Split the cardamom pods with a sharp knife and remove the dark brown seeds. Discard the pods and crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle.

  2. Break the cinnamon sticks into fairly small lenghts. Crumble the dried bay leaf into several small pieces.

  3. Put all the pieces, except the nutmeg, into a heavy frying pan. Dry-fry them over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and put the spices into a small bowl. Allow to cool and stir in the grated nutmeg.

  4. Put the spices in small batches into an electric grinder and grind to a fine powder. Pack the garam masala into a sterlized jar, seal, decorate and label.

Tip: Stir and shake the pan frequently when frying the spices, to keep them on the move and prevent them from burning.

Traditionally, masalas are ground in a mortar and pestle, but an electric grinder is quicker and easier.

Tip: If you don?t have an electric grinder or mortar and pestle to grind your spices, use a rolling pin.

Variation - Chaat Masala. Use 6 dried chillies, 6tbsp cumin seeds, 6 tbsp coriander seeds and 4 tsp black peppercorns. Use the directions as above.

Seven Seas Spice Mix Recipe

This fragrant mix is a must for anyone who fancies Oriental dishes.

15 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp whole cloves

  1. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them in a mortar and pestle. Break the cinnamon stick into several pieces.

  2. Put all the spices into an electric grinder and grind to a fine powder.

  3. Pack into sterilized jars, seal, decorate and label.